Tuesday 31 March 2020

Silver Linings

According to statistics I have seen here (you may need to scroll up), 95% of active coronavirus cases are mild which really does make one ask why the current lockdown is necessary. Getting the vulnerable to stay at home should have been sufficient. But if the virus is just an excuse to bring about other ends, as those who see this as part of an ongoing spiritual war believe, then that fact is almost incidental. The spreading of fear, the curtailing of liberties, the driving of souls into existential despair, these are what matter to the demonic powers pushing the agenda. Their human henchmen are mostly just pawns in the game with no idea of the greater stakes behind the worldly crisis. They may have their own purposes but they will see that these will come to nothing and they have been used, to be discarded when their usefulness is over.

Where I live just outside London the world has suddenly become much less busy with fewer people dashing about the streets and in the parks. Best of all, it has become quieter. I notice the birds far more than usual and I am inclined to think there are more of them about. Normally, it's mainly pigeons, magpies and crows around here but now I see finches, starlings, blackbirds and even a few sparrows, once so common, now so rare. To top it all, I saw a jay last week.

When humanity retreats, nature can start to make a little comeback. I'm certainly not one of those misanthropic environmentalist types who sees the human race as a curse on the face of the earth but there's no doubt that we have not taken the trust invested in us by God to be stewards of creation in the way we should have done. We have exploited the earth and treated nature as our thing to do with as we wish. Now nature is reminding us that we are not such powerful overlords after all. But this is not all bad news because we are thereby forced back into more fundamental realities and jolted out of our normal complacency in which all our desires are effortlessly met if we have the financial wherewithal. Today we are reduced to essentials, witness the queues for food at supermarkets. In a certain sense, we are being recalled to order. I'm not saying the current crisis has been sent by God but as with any evil, it can be used to good purpose.

So when you go out now take advantage of the quiet to become closer to God who is often lost in the bustle of everyday existence. Be more aware of him in the green growth of nature in springtime. Look for him inside yourself where he lives as the fact of your existence but also as your loving Father. He rarely shouts or tries to grab your attention so the present state of relative stillness and silence can be used to our spiritual advantage.


Bruce Charlton said...

@William - I agree that there are many silver linings during this (?brief) calm before the storm - enhanced by my resolution to live in the present (and eternity). This morning I saw a song thrush for the first time in some years (one of my favourite birds!). It's helped that there has been a spell of dry weather. The unfamiliar quietness (I live less than a mile from the city centre) is delightful. And we greatly enjoy the extra family time. But I try to guard against expecting this to continue - take it a day at a time and just appreciate that day, hour by hour.

William Wildblood said...

Yes, we are being given an opportunity to become more reflective. I'm not sure how many people are taking that though.

Anonymous said...

Ignore the government diktats. Use our intelligence and reason and take due precaution to avoid potentially spreading the virus. Then take time outside - travel, if you have to, to find somewhere that isn't crowded (which for many today living in densely populated areas makes more sense than sticking to the ridiculous and evil mandated distance-limits set by 'authorities'). And enjoy the relative silence afforded by the lack of vehicle engine noise. Listen to the bell-like sound of the spring birds. The dawn chorus is intensifying. Go for an early walk, take a quiet moment in it to pray. Listen for the churchbells because there remains something powerful and holy in this sound still.
This is Easter week.

William Wildblood said...

I take your point but I think at the moment we should observe the government diktats because since this lockdown exists we may as well do what we can to get through it as quickly as possible. If a lot of people ignore them we may have to do the whole thing again and it may go on for longer. The time for disobedience may come but it is not yet. I completely agree with you about church bells. And Easter remains what it is whether churches are open or closed. I intend to stand outside my local church on Easter Sunday and say some prayers. On my daily exercise walk, of course!

Anonymous said...

And I take yours, thanks for the reply.
But I don't think this is going to end. The restrictions will be altered and grafted into life as permanent 'directions for social responsibility for the containment of infectious diseases' or similar.

William Wildblood said...

That is the big concern. It will be interesting to see what develops.